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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Saturday, 16 May 2009 16:58 UK

Newcastle 0-1 Fulham

Diomansy Kamara
Kamara scored the crucial goal in the first half

By Saj Chowdhury

Newcastle's Premier League future hangs in the balance after Diomansy Kamara's strike gave Fulham victory.

Kamara struck just before half-time, finishing from six yards after he was picked out by Erik Nevland.

Newcastle's Obafemi Martins hit the post from six yards and Mark Schwarzer saved from Nicky Butt late on.

Newcastle will also be without defender Sebastien Bassong for the last game of the season against Aston Villa after he was sent off for tripping Kamara.

With Hull picking up a point against Bolton, Newcastle's top-flight future is no longer in their hands.


And if they play as poorly as they did in the first 45 minutes of their game against Fulham then the Magpies will be lucky to see their name among the elite 20 next season.

Knowing that a win would virtually guarantee them safety, the Magpies set about their task with too much impatience and not enough thought.

Had Martins smashed his six-yard effort into the net rather than against the post after 15 minutes, Newcastle's prospects might be looking altogether rosier.

It might have also lifted the tempo of the match that Roy Hodgson's Fulham, chasing a place in next season's Europa League, were happy to go along with.

Fulham were not at their best but crucially looked calm when in possession.

Shearer frustrated by disallowed goal

Before Kamara's goal, Nevland, Zoltan Gera and Clint Dempsey all had shots from distance that went close.

Their goal came as a result of good work from Dempsey who broke up play in midfield and Danny Murphy playing in Nevland.

The bright Norwegian forward squared the ball to Kamara who did not panic and placed his effort into the roof of the net.

Fulham's forward play this season has been uncomplicated and effective, but the real stars of their campaign have been at the back.

Even so the Magpies were unfortunate not to equalise during a manic minute when Mark Viduka's flick was cleared off the line by Dickson Etuhu before the striker, again, saw his powerful header beat Schwarzer only for referee Howard Webb to disallow the effort because of Kevin Nolan's foul on the Fulham keeper.

Hodgson praises defensive effort

Things got worse for Alan Shearer's men when one their best players of a torrid campaign, Bassong, was red carded for tripping the goalbound Kamara.

Shearer threw on forwards Peter Lovenkrands and Andy Carroll to salvage something from the performance and with seconds remaining Carroll nodded down the ball to Butt whose volley was brilliantly palmed away by Schwarzer.

It was Newcastle's final chance of the match and may prove to be significant come next Sunday.

Newcastle: Harper, Beye, Steven Taylor, Bassong, Duff, Guthrie (Ryan Taylor 62), Butt, Nolan, Gutierrez (Lovenkrands 76), Martins, Viduka (Carroll 80).Subs Not Used: Krul, Coloccini, Smith, Ameobi.

Sent Off: Bassong (60).

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey, Etuhu, Murphy, Gera, Nevland (Johnson 75), Kamara.
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Zamora, Dacourt, Gray, Kallio, Baird.

Booked: Murphy, Nevland, Dempsey.

Goals: Kamara 41.

Att: 52,114

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Fulham's Mark Schwarzer 8.00 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Shearer relying on last-day drama
16 May 09 |  Premier League
Bolton 1-1 Hull
16 May 09 |  Premier League
Middlesbrough 1-1 Aston Villa
16 May 09 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
16 May 09 |  Premier League
Premier League photos
16 May 09 |  Premier League

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